How To Make SEO Friendly Content and indeed How To Write a Blog Post are subjects that I’ve been wanting to write about for a while now. I did a quick post on our FaceBook page about this subject and was surprised at the engagement level we got on it so decided I would go deeper on the topic.
Structured Approach to Content Creation
Before you even think about your content or that next Blog Post and put pen to MS word you need to structure your approach and we do that like this.
- Choose your Page (or blog post) Main topic.
- Brainstorm a few main key phrases around that topic and put them into excel.
- Perform keyword research on the phrases.
- You need to choose your main topically relevant key-phrase from that research (In this case I chose “How To Make SEO Friendly Content”).
- Choose your supplementary keyphrase from that research (and for this I chose “How to write a blog post”).
- Base those two choices on how much competition there is for the phrase (KD), the search volume(s) and how confident you are that you can out rank the competition for the phrase(s).
So, when I approach a page or blog post those are the first things that I do.
This is the list that I came up with when I sat down and thought about this post.
As you can see, I added in the monthly search volume and also the total volume for all the keyword variants. I chose the phrase “How To Make SEO Friendly Content” because it is.
- On topic for what I want to write about.
- Super targeted to the post.
- There are hundreds of variants of this main phrase.
- The search intent is strong. This person is looking for a how to guide and or an SEO company that can do it for them.
Now it could be argued why didn’t I opt for SEO content as that has more volume at 480 monthly or even meta Description at 1900. The reason I didn’t is because.
A: SEO content is much more competitive in terms of KD (I’ll explain KD in a minute) and how easy it will be to rank for and also, it’s not so targeted.
B: By writing this article in the right way I can incorporate lots of those phrases (SEO, SEO Content, Meta Description, Blog post) also and hopefully rank for some of them and their variants too.
For my supplementary keyphrase I’ve chosen “How to write a Blog Post” for obvious reasons.
To research the phrases that I have brainstormed I jumped over to one of my favourite tools SEM Rush. I also listed some great FREE tools over on This Blog Post. This gives me a great opportunity to get my first external link out to an authority website and also an internal link too. Don’t worry I’m going to list all the steps to this process.
So anyway let’s head over to SEM Rush and look at some of these phrases.. (Another external link here).
As you can see, I have typed in the main phrase at the top in the Keyword Overview section and all this lovely data has come back.
We have 4 main variants of the main phrase “How To Make SEO Friendly Content”.
There are 4 questions. These are the same because the main phrase is already super long tail. (Long tail means the search query has many words in it, normally more than 3).
79 main variants or related phrases.
Total search volume of all combined phrases and related phrases is 8,400 ish so quite a popular topic indeed.
Let’s look at these phrases to check the KD (Keyword Difficulty). The main phrase gets a monthly search volume in the UK of 90 and it has a KD of 62.77%. KD is a measure out of 100% and this is SEMRush explanation of it.
So, there you have it. The lower the KD number the easier it will be for you to rank for a given phrase or keyword. The higher the number the harder. You will need more and better-quality links plus a few other factors as well.
Researching the Supplementary Phrase
Let’s take a look at my supplementary phrase which is “How to write a Blog Post”.
Again, lots of great information and we can immediately see.
There are 162 main variants of the main phrase “How To Write a Blog Post” with a volume of 2,500.
151 questions with a volume of 2,400.
349 main variants or related phrases with a volume of 81,200.
Volume is good on this phrase at 880 monthly searches (UK alone) and in total we have 86,080 searches each month with all the variants added in. LOTS OF TRAFFIC.
For the main phrase here we have a KD of 71.01 which is considered high and would take quite some work to rank for. If you have a KD of NA for a phrase, then no one is actively targeting that EXACT phrase.
IF you want to rank a PAGE FAST choose phrases with NA and target those. This phrase “how to write a blog post in 30 minutes” has 50 visitors per month and if you craft in some of the related NA phrases you can very quickly build traffic out to a page or blog post in this way. As you gain traction and EAT (Expertise, Authority, Trust) RankBrain will notice and rank you for even more related phrases.
So now we have our two main phrases:
How To Make SEO Friendly Content
How To Write a Blog Post
Writing Your SEO Friendly Article or Blog Post
Once we have decided on our main topic and performed our keyword research we can actually sit down and start to write the article or blog post itself. As with everything we do when it comes to SEO and appealing to RankBrain there are some rules. These rules change and morph over time as RankBrain updates its algorithm but for this year 2020 these are the guidelines.
I’ve already discussed some of this above but wanted to list it out for you here also.
How many main keyphrases are you allowed per page or blog post?
This answer might be surprising to you but it’s 1.
Yep just 1 main topically relevant keyphrase and 1 supporting phrase.
The steps for How To Make SEO Friendly Content:
1. 1 Main phrase (let’s say it’s) “How To Make SEO Friendly Content”.
2. 1 Supporting phrase (let’s say it’s) “How To Write a Blog Post”.
3. Good use of synonyms throughout the content and for those that don’t know.
4. The main phrase in the page title if you can.
5. The main phrase in the first H1 (Heading 1) on page.
6. The main phrase in the opening paragraph preferably at the beginning unless it sounds daft.
7. Only 1 H1 per page and then switch to H2s and H3s.
8. Main phrase in the meta description.
9. Minimum of 5 to 600 words per page (if possible) more if you can. This article is nearly 2500 words.
10. Images accurately titled and descriptive as to what they are.
11. Image alt tags used for their original purpose (screen readers for the visually impaired) to describe what the image IS and NOT stuffed just with your keyphrase. As an example, for the Synonym image above I used the Alt tag of
“An image describing what a synonym is and how you can use them for good quality SEO friendly article writing”
When a person with impaired vision wants to read this article their screen reader can tell them what the images are.
12. Make sure that you have some links out (2 or 3) to authority websites that relate to your main topic. I have added some in for SEMRush and also Yoast here.
13. Make sure you have some internal links (2 or 3) to other articles in your blog and or products and services on your website.
How many times should you use the main focus keyphrase.
This used to be way more important than it is now and figures of 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1% have been bandied about for years amongst various SEOs and Search Engine Optimisation experts. RankBrain is very clever these days at figuring out what your page is about so the most important thing that you can do is to write naturally to your human audience and not try to please RankBrain or get all clever.
As a rule of thumb don’t go over 2% and you’ll be fine. So for a 500 word article don’t mention your main topic keyphrase more than 10 times which in my case is “How To Make SEO Friendly Content” and you’ll be fine.
So then Mark if I can only use 1 main phrase per page and 1 supporting phrase how do I rank for all the variants of the keyphrases out there?
Once you start pleasing RankBrain and ticking off the ranking factors of which there are over 220 you will be rewarded by being recognised as an authority in your niche and as such RankBrain will rank you for more and more associated phrases and keywords. Google only wants to serve up accurate results to its searchers and those searchers only want to see results that match their questions. Just remember EAT at all times.
Expertise, Authority and Trust.
You can also steer this process by the correct application of link anchors in your backlink profile and of course adding in good quality blog content and articles on subjects that cover some of those phrases.
Optimising Your SEO Content in Yoast
So now we have the basis and structure it’s time for optimisation of the piece. If you’re lucky and using WordPress as your main CMS (Content management System) You will be able to download Yoast SEO for your main SEO plugin. Yoast helps you to optimise your content and is also where you can set various other aspects of it like your Meta Description etc.
Yoast themselves have many guides as to how to setup their plugin and use it so I’m not going to rehash it here but what I am going to do is show you what I did for this post. The Yoast optimisation box appears at the bottom of your content piece or blog post in WordPress so just scroll down and you’ll see it. Don’t forget to install the plugin though 🙂
So firstly, I want to Set my Focus Keyphrase which as we know is How To Make SEO Friendly Content. I’ve added that into the focus key phrase box like so.
Next, I want to click the button edit snippet so that I can edit the meta Description. I cannot overestimate the importance here of your Meta Description.
Your Meta Description and What the Searcher Sees in Google
This along with the Post title are what the searcher sees in Google and also what makes them decide to come pay you a visit. IT IS your sales pitch. Use it wisely. This is what it looks like for real.
As you can see Google is bolding here the any keywords that I used in my search “seo friendly content”. This is important and attracts the eye of the searcher. Searchers click on what is familiar to what they were thinking. It is largely a subconscious action and they will only go down the results or even to page 2 if a result does not look familiar to their initial search intent.
Matching Search Intent
Match what they are thinking in how you write your Meta Description and you’ll get more clicks. You can also use a snippet of your first paragraph if it works and fits. Let’s do that and see if Yoast gives me a green smile.
And Et Voila Yoast likes that and has given me a green smiley face. Yoast analyses your page against your chosen focus keyphrase and will tell you what needs altering until the page is at its optimum. As you can see the Meta Description is descriptive and also has the main phrase bolded.
My title is How To Make SEO Friendly Content with all the main letters in caps on the first letter and my branding is consistent so it looks like this.
How To Make SEO Friendly Content | 15Degrees-North
Let’s take a look at the Yoast analysis to see if anything needs working on still.
This looks great. I have two recommendations which are:
Of course when you have an SEO campaign from us this is the sort of stuff that we are doing for you across your whole site. This IS WHY you can’t get good SEO done for 200 quid a month! It takes too much deep knowledge and too much time. I can now try and address these two points to make the article perfect from an SEO point of view for the main keyphrase.
As you can see I took that opportunity to add in the main keyphrase to one of my subheadings and also to add in a couple of internal links to our SEO services page. Yoast is now happy as am I.
Optimising the Related Phrase
Now let’s add in the supplementary related phrase which is How To Write a Blog Post.
Not too bad. Let’s see if I can tweak the suggestions a bit.
I added in the suggestions and that’s what you’re aiming for. Green across the board. Now we can look at readability. Readability is NOT an SEO ranking factor per se but may or may not affect how long your readers stay with you on page which is a ranking factor. It can be worth tweaking but not to the point that you go crazy with it trying to get it green. Flesch Reading Ease is especially hard to get right as is Passive Voice!
As you can see my blog post needs some work.
After a little bit of work adding in additional subheadings and tidying up my sentences, I am now green across the board for this piece of work. All I now have left to do is to set a featured Image and then post it.
The Bottom Line
I hope this article has given you the basis for writing great content the right way and also shown you why good SEO and indeed quality SEO based article writing is not cheap.
The bottom line is this. If Rankbrain thinks this is the best source of information when it comes to the question “How To Make SEO Friendly Content”. It will want to serve this article up when people type that in and also for the related searches too on the key phrase variants. This is why you should put time and effort into your writing and not just throw content out there of poor quality.
If you want to satisfy EAT (Expertise, Authority and Trust) you need to be and display those three qualities in spades.